per Bernard Stirling:
...you can do stuff that, even if you don’t do the big thing, is still worth doing in and of itself. And looking at how we could support ourselves and each other better is a really non-regretful action. If we do a bunch of work to achieve that, and then don’t go Principality, it’s like "oh no, what if we built a better world?"
Below are some examples of local cooperation and management that help improve our game. Please send any new suggestions - whether they've already happened or you think they should happen - via our Feedback form.
- NZ Seneschals can now coordinate with each other easily via their own mailing list
- Seneschals have agreed to encourage their members to be more aware of and support activities hosted by other groups - particularly people from our southern regions. Northern folk already tend to travel more (e.g. for CF), than those who live further south.
- Seneschals are looking more keenly for opportunities to "import" or attract key people to support relevant activities, e.g. Knights or MoDs for a training day, Laurels or Pelicans for a Collegium, etc. For example, an SG knight with good training skills has been sponsored to head north to Ildhafn/Cluain to assist their armoured combat training - on the back of a 10-week new fighter workshop that Ildhafn started in February.
- NZ group boundaries will soon be defined by postcodes rather than phone-codes, partly to improve understanding and support of current and potential members who aren't in current group cores
- Coordination between A&S officers has led to the Ildhafn A&S survey being expanded to become NZ-wide
- As part of a Kingdom-wide boost in recruitment and retention activities, the following initiatives have been launched or already completed in New Zealand:
- A one-off survey has been run of all past SCA NZ members to find out what factors influenced their decisions not to renew. Mostly, those who responded had simply converted to casual memberships or had life changes that took them away from the SCA - but there were a few interesting comments.
- Changes have been made to post-renewal emails (adding a survey), to improve our recruitment and retention information gathering.
- A question will be added to the online membership form, asking new members "Where did you first hear about or encounter the SCA?". This answer will be relayed to Seneschals to help them evaluate promotion and recruitment activities
- More groups have Chatelaines (recruitment/new-member officers) than previously, and with improved visibility, support and activity
- In the past six months NZ has had Officer Recruitment and Retention workshops at three or four events or gatherings, and related classes at three others.
- There are new resources online at Kingdom level related to both those key topics as well - and the new Kingdom Hospitaller (Adrienne) has a rollout plan to stimulate and support R&R across the entire Kingdom - with an added emphasis on officer training and retention coming via the Seneschallate.
- The Kingdom Webwright is now encouraging groups to improve their info & connections to helpful (or essential) officer-related Kingdom resources, such as all the ones at https://seneschal.lochac.sca.org/resources
- On the back of some problems recently picked up in a couple of Australian groups, an "Office Handover" checklist has been completed and widely promoted - because a missed or badly managed handover can sometimes lead to an awful lot of grief down the track. Or at least missed opportunities.
- In the past 6-8 months there has been a noticeably-increased number of Kiwis taking up Kingdom Officer or Society roles, or support roles for either. Many are for the first time - thus widening our experience pool and skill-sets. For the most part these have been from SG, partly because some of those skills are already quite common further north due to (for example) Darton's tendency to have high-performing people who have previously been associated with SCANZ or in Kingdom roles.
- The NZ Registry system is being converted over to use the version with better recruitment and reporting tools now used in Australia; along with direct support for the new systems below
- Newly-developed Kingdom systems such as the Regnumator and Appointinator include many NZ-specific support elements, such as online Regnum generation and handling of NZ-specific officer roles such as NZ Deputy Exchequer
- A former SCA Ltd Treasurer is assisting the NZ Deputy Exchequer and group Reeves with the adoption of Xero for managing group accounting henceforth
- Standardised content, such as website policies, can now be easily included onto any NZ website, eliminating the need to maintain it locally.
- General attention to recruitment and newcomer support in the past year has led to a modest and continuing increase in members above 2019's record high - in spite of Covid and in contrast to the rest of the Kingdom, (which saw a 20% decrease during 2020). Local events are being well attended - in some cases very well - again in spite of the pandemic.
- There are also growing numbers of authorised and re-authorised armoured combatants - up about 20% in the six months from Sept 2020 to Mar 2021 - and some other authorisation types are increasing too.
- As of mid-August 2021, SCA NZ membership reached 234 (up from 222 in April), a new record high, with growth being shared fairly evenly across the country.
Any comments, or ideas to add? Use our Feedback form.